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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1464; doi:10.3390/su9081464

A Longitudinal Comparison of Sustainability Learning between Men and Women in Engineering and Nursing Programmes

Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, University of Gävle, 80176 Gävle, Sweden
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Received: 25 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Abstract

For many years, Higher education institutions have been engaging with sustainability, many focussing on environmental ones. In this context, two phenomena have arisen that have, usually, been studied separately: (1) engineering schools have been at the forefront of sustainability efforts; and (2) women have tended to be more concerned about of environmental sustainability than men are. This paper is aimed at analysing the differences in perception between engineering students and nursing students at the University of Gävle, Sweden. Engineering and nursing programmes are practice-oriented with different foci on sustainability and usually being dominated by male and female students, respectively. The data for this article were based on two surveys carried out during 2010 and 2013, in which the same students answered the same questions at the beginning and at the end of their studies. Principal component analysis and regressions were carried out to analyse the survey answers. The results show that engineering programmes and gender affect actions positively. The results also show that engineering students increased their sustainability performance significantly more than nursing students. To improve environmental sustainability, it is important to promote the presence of women in engineering schools, and at the same time, social science oriented programmes (such as nursing) could learn from the efforts and action taken by engineering schools, so that sustainability is taught and learnt in a more holistic way. View Full-Text
Keywords: student attitudes; engineering programmes; nursing programmes; environmental sustainability; University of Gavle; student survey; higher education; gender; longitudinal study student attitudes; engineering programmes; nursing programmes; environmental sustainability; University of Gavle; student survey; higher education; gender; longitudinal study
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

von Haartman, R.; Sammalisto, K.; Lozano, R.; Blomqvist, P. A Longitudinal Comparison of Sustainability Learning between Men and Women in Engineering and Nursing Programmes. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1464.

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